FAQ about ships, upgrades and insurance for IAE/ILW and general fleet planning


Grand Admiral
Mar 4, 2020
RSI Handle
Figured i would write this guide since big sale events are always the time you are thinking about your fleet building and don't want to make any mistake.
RSI has already some wonderful FAQs, but sometime you need to dig through them all to get the info you are looking for. Please refer to those FAQ first as they will be updated when needed.

If you see something important not mentionned here let me know. Please excuse my many English mistakes ;)

Melt value, real money, store credit

What is store credit?
Store credit is the currency used by the RSI shop to reflect the real money spent on an item.

What is melting / reclaiming?
Melting is the action of reclaiming a pledge, thus getting back the amount paid for it equivalent in store credit.

What is melt value?
This is the value corresponding to an item in RSI shop currency : store credit.
For example, a real money purchased Warbond Nomad has a melt value of 70$ store credit, while a store credit purchased Nomad has a melt value of 80$ store credit.
When you melt an item, you will have the equivalent in store credit of all what was spent EFFECTIVELY on it (cash and/ or store credit) added to your store credit account.

So what is the difference between real money and store credit purchase for melt value?
There is no difference.
If you bought that item with real money it will match the money spent on it.
If you bought it with store credit, it will match the store credit spent on it.

What are those Warbond items?
Warbond are items offered for real money only, you can not purchase them using store credit.
Warbond items are cheaper than their store credit counterparts.

Can you explain the difference between store credit and cash for account bound items?
As soon as you spent any store credit on an item it is account bound and you can not gift it.
For example, an item cost 10$, and you spend 9.99$ with real cash and 0.01$ with store credit, the item is then account bound.
To prevent account bound item you need to buy an item with 100% real money.
You can still melt an item bought with store credit and buy it back with 100% real cash if you want it to be gift-able again.

If i buy with store credit, will the item be account bound?

And if i buy with a mix of store credit and cash?
Still the same, account bound.

Gifting and limitation

What is gifting?
You can gift any item purchased with real money, or received through subscription.
Note that as soon as the total melt value of an item (ship, package/pack...) and its upgrades reach 1000$, it is then not giftable anymore without RSI support (but don't count on that).
Item and packages more expensive than 1000$ are not giftable without RSI support.
Gifting is the core mechanics allowing the existence of the grey market. You can gift to a maximum of 1000$ total gifts melt value per day.
Note that gifted items are always account bound.

If I have a ship/vehicle bought with real money and I upgraded it with some CCU bought with store credit, does it become account bound?
Applying a store credit CCU (Cross Chassis Upgrade) or multiple store credit CCU to a giftable item does not remove the ability to gift it.
It is actually one of the way to spend your leftover store credits and don't end with account bound items in your hangar.

Can i gift item as a new account?
You will need to wait 30 days after your initial purchase to be able to gift anything if your account is new.
For example you can use this to create alt account using your main account referral code, and use those referral rewards for both accounts (main and alt) and give back the pack bought for your alt to your main after 30 days.

Special items, concierge and subscribers

If i am not a concierge or subscriber, can i get one of the items available to them only?
Yes if you buy it from grey market (basically this is a gift in exchange for money).
Concierge regular and LTI packs under 1000$ are giftable and anyone can use them.
The same goes for subscribers items and special Subscribers Exclusive Cross Chasis Upgrades. Subscribers have access to an exclusive CCU each month for a ship, with 3 special flairs from past subscribers monthly rewards, and with extended 12 months insurance.
You can also ask CIG nicely and sometime they open up concierge items on request.

About tax and VAT

I have to pay for VAT in my country, does it add to the concierge level progression?
Yes. Any money spent on RSI, VAT included, counts to your concierge progression to next level.

Is VAT returned as store credit when melting an item?

Is VAT added when purchasing an item with store credit only?

Insurance and upgrades

What is insurance?
It is not yet an active mechanism in game. Insurance will start at game launch only.
It covers your ship hull and the default component loadout for that ship. It will not cover upgraded components or cargo, this will be a separate insurance later ingame.
Insurance allows you, while still active, to re-spawn a destroyed or lost ship.
Basic ships and vehicles insurance start generally at 6 months, sometime less (some special promotional items), sometime more. Anniversary sales offer longer insurance, here 10 years for IAE2950, for ships labelled with the event name.

What is LTI?
LTI is Life Time Insurance, pretty self-explanatory.

How does the upgrade store work on the pledge store?
The upgrade system is calculating upgrade possibilities based on store credit default value difference between ships. If difference is 0 it is not possible to upgrade.
I will use the term "value" to describe that default store credit value when needed under.

I have a LTI ship (standalone or pack) i want to upgrade. Will the upgrade retain the LTI insurance?
For example you buy the Warbond LTI Nomad and upgrade it to something else, the resulting upgraded ship will still be LTI.

My ship is not LTI but i would like to turn it into a LTI ship, is it possible?
Most of the time it is not, unless you use special upgrades.
This IAE2950 is offering a Warbond CCU (Cross Chasis Upgrade) for the Nomad which has LTI insurance.
You could upgrade to LTI any ship that has lower "value" compared to the ship from the special CCU.
For example you have an Aurora starter pack, 6 months insurance. Aurora "value" is lower than Nomad "value" so you can do the upgrade. You would upgrade to the Nomad with that Warbond LTI CCU, and then upgrade from the Nomad to the desired ship, providing the "value" of the target ship is higher than the "value" of a Nomad (80$). The upgraded item will show both insurance (LTI and 6 months) but the highest insurance will always prevail.
This also applies to the case for special Warbond CCU with longer insurance but not LTI (like 10 years insurance). You will get the longest insurance between the base ship and the special Warbond CCU.

So can i apply multiple CCU upgrades on a same ship on top of another to build an upgrade path?

Does this also mean I can plan my upgrade path and save more money in the end?
Yes that is the objective! Purchasing Store credit/Warbond CCU of not released ship(s) will allow you to maximize the cost saving of an upgrade path for any ship at the end of the path.
If you buy and store a CCU of some not released ship in your HANGAR and when the ship is released, that ship "value" gets a price raise for upgrade calculations. This means the CCU "value" of that ship is now considered "higher", and the upgrade system will offer further available possible upgrades from that ship based on the ship current "value".
You can end with much cheaper ship at the end of an upgrade path, if you apply many CCUs of not released ships in that path. Because all the not released ships will "jump in price" when flight ready and the CCU associated to each of them will reflect that for calculations.
Note that it DOES NOT add more melt value to the CCUs or the final upgraded ship. Its melt value will still be the sum of all that what effectively spent, on token and upgrades.

I want a Redeemer but I can't pay for that kind of ship, what should I do?
When released, the Redeemer will get a price jump making it even less affordable.
Buy the cheapest token you can get. You can even start with a token of a ship not yet released to gain additional cost saving in the end.
If you want LTI, either get an LTI Warbond token during a concept sale, or a special LTI Warbond LTI CCU when available. Or get a token from grey market.
Let's say you start with an Aurora LN. You don't want to buy an Aurora to Redeemer CCU obviously. You will try to buy as many CCUs of ships not yet released between the Aurora "value" and the Redeemer "value".
You don't want also to buy all the CCUs needed but just those for the ships not yet released in your upgrade path, from the nearest cheaper released ship always available in store (or the nearest limited flight ready ship).
Example : you buy an Aurora token (I won't mention insurance here). You buy Nomad to Hull-B CCU. Nomad always available, Hull-B not yet released. You buy Freelancer DUR to Vulture/Taurus. DUR always available, Vulture/Taurus not released. You buy Andromeda to Redeemer. Andromeda always available, Redeemer not released.
Keep all those CCU in your hangar.
Once all "TO" ships within path are flight ready and released, all those CCUs will save you some money compared to those new ships "value".
Buy the missing CCUs when you can afford them to complete the upgrade path (assuming the Hull-B did not get as expensive or more than the DUR, and so on) : Aurora to Nomad, Hull-B to DUR, Vulture/Taurus to Andromeda. Those CCUs will always be available at RSI store. Then you can assemble your cheap Redeemer with all those CCUs!
Of course you could have in addition bet on extra intermediate CCUs of not released ships and maximize on price jumps, like to G12 then to G12a, then Hull-B, then Taurus, then Vulcan, then Redeemer... That is up to your imagination and bets on price jump :)
Using in addition any Warbond CCU will also lower the final price !

Upgrading packages and packs
Packages generally consist of at least one ship, coming with Star Citizen or both SC and Squadron42. You can upgrade them as you want.
Packs generally consist of ships without SC and SQ42. You can upgrade them as you want.

So is it more interesting to use Warbond Ship token / Warbond CCU to upgrade a ship?
If you can, yes.
Warbond item vs store credit item offers the possibility to upgrade that item and save some more money in the final item price, thanks to the difference in cost, since the upgrade is calculated using the store credit item "value" as base price, and a warbond item is always cheaper than its store credit equivalent.
You can also use Warbond/regular Concierge LTI packs if you can have access to them, you will often save a bit of money.

Reclaiming (melting) a pledge, and buybacks

What is the buyback section of my hangar?
It is where you will see all past pledges that have been reclaimed by yourself. You can repurchase them with store credit and buyback token and/or real money.
Token is ONLY used for buyback with 100% store credit or a mix of store credit+cash.
You can always repurchase any item with real money any time you want, you do not need a buyback token for that.

Will buybacks be active forever?
This is important actually.
CIG stated that once Beta launch they will remove the ability to use the buyback system.
Also note that some items, like CCU in hangar MUST then be used before Beta launch.

Can I reclaim and buyback anything safely?
Please refer to official FAQ for the full list of items concerned.
You CAN NOT buy back certain items, like all original backers pledge above Physical Colonel LTI that contain physical goods (Real Admiral LTI...), any pledge in general with physical items, discounted combo package, or promotional items (Intel Sabre Raven, AMD Mustang Omega, note that those 2 are not gift-able and reclaimable once the code is used for your account, they are bound forever to the account)...

What happens when i reclaim a standalone ship?
By melting a standalone ship (whatever the insurance is, LTI or not), you get the melt value in store credit, and the ship is in your buybacks, it retains its original insurance.
There is a cooldown on Warbond Concept buyback if you want to get it back with storecredit, it is 1 month after initial concept sale.

What happens when i reclaim an upgraded (CCUed) ship?
By melting a CCUed ship (ship made from an upgrade applied on a token ship, LTI token ship or not), you get the token ship back in your buybacks and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship (token melt value + CCUs melt value) in store credits.
You can NOT get back the upgraded ship from your buybacks or the CCU(s) used, they are lost, you get just the token. The token retains its original insurance (eg token LTI in buyback always stays LTI), not the one from its CCU upgrade if upgrade insurance was higher.

What happens when i reclaim an upgraded (CCUed) pack?
The original pack, without upgrade and applied CCU(s), will return to your buybacks, and all money/credit spent on the pack and its upgrades will be returned in store credit.
You can NOT reclaim ships separately within a pack.

What happens when i reclaim an upgrade (CCU)?
If the ship from that CCU is now released (flyable), or price bumped, the CCU "value" gets a "price raise" for upgrades calculation at ship release (or price jump during concept) and you might pay a different price to buy it back (see the 2 next questions under). This is what is OFFICIALLY said by CIG. But in reality this does not happen like that with the CURRENT CCU system (so this might change).
It is a good practice to stock some CCU of not released ships in your hangar, to benefit from the price raise when flyable.
For example, MSR is 225$ now and will be 260$ when released. this means a CCU upgrade to MSR kept in hangar will save you at least 35$ (60$ for Warbond MSR CCU).
The opposite might also be true.
Sometime it happens that the CCU you want to buy back is still more expensive than the actual difference between the base ship and the target ship "values".
CIG is stating that it can not lower the price in real money that was spent on an item (their response to my ticket). So for example, a Carrack used to be 350$ then 500$. New Carrack price is 600$. A Hull-E price is 650$, so Carrack to Hull-E should be 50$, but it is instead at 150$ in buyback (from Carrack @500). Others explain this because it is an old CCU from another time when the system worked differently.

What about stocking CCU in hangar and their price?
Stocking any CCU in hangar will "freeze" its price, 100% guaranteed on both ends of the CCU.
While 99% of the time this benefits you, it can happen that the CCU ends to be more expensive than what it could be if you buy it now, eg CCU was between 2 ships not yet released, and the price jump is not the same for both end of the CCU (eg old BMM 450 to M2 480 vs new BMM 500 to M2 520).

What about stocking CCU in buybacks and their price?
OFFICIALLY in the FAQs a CCU "value" in buybacks is said to be adjusted, but in reality it is NOT in some case. You can effectively stock all "TO ship" CCU safely in your buybacks, in addition to hangar.
CCU price is currently NEVER adjusted when the upgrade "TO" ship is the one released (or price bumped). "Value" for TO = "value" at the time of CCU purchase.
CCU price is currently ALWAYS adjusted when the upgrade "FROM" ship is the one released (or price bumped). "Value" for FROM = current "value".

One of my CCU is now invalid for repurchase in my buybacks, why?
It can happen that in a CCU, the new "value" of the FROM ship is now superior to the "value" of the TO ship at the time it was bought.
Example, before Alien Week 2020, BMM was 350$, C2 360$. But the BMM new "value" is 500$ so higher than C2 at 360$, making repurchasing that old CCU impossible, because the upgrade shop is using current "value" of the FROM ship for calculations, when the TO ship "value" is frozen here at the time of initial CCU purchase.
Another example : old Carrack at 500$ to Orion at 575$ CCU. The Carrack is released at 600$, so it is now invalid CCU. BUT there is a high chance that the Orion "value" when flight ready will be superior to 600$, so a new CCU FROM Carrack TO Orion might be more interesting (if Orion new "value" superior to 600$ but inferior to 675$) paired with an old Carrack CCU (where Carrack is TO).

If i reclaim an upgraded ship (CCUed ship), will i loose my LTI insurance?
This depends.
If the ship was upgraded from an LTI "token" - aka the ship used as base for the upgrade(s) already had LTI - you will get that token in your buybacks, and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship in store credit. The reclaimed ship token will retain its LTI insurance and is available for repurchase anytime. You will only be able to repurchase the token, not the fully upgraded ship !
If the ship was upgraded from a "token" that did not have LTI, but you then used a special warbond CCU that had LTI, you will loose LTI, get the base token in your buybacks, and the equivalent of what was spent on the upgraded ship in store credit.

If i melt a Warbond item, do i need to repurchase it with real cash only?
No. You can repurchase it with store credit using a buyback token. It will then become account bound. Note that if that Warbond item was a concept item, you will need to wait after some time has passed after the sale to be able to repurchase it (from my experience it is a month).

But if i want to repurchase right away an item i melted by mistake?
You can always repurchase any item with real money any time, you do not need a BUYBACK TOKEN.
If you do not have a token, you will then need to repurchase it with 100% real money.
If you have a token, you can repurchase it with store credit, or a mix of store credit and real money.

When can i have more buyback token?
1 is given every quarter. They dont stack.

How much time do i need to wait to melt an item i have purchased and want to store in my buybacks?
You need to wait 24 hours.

I have an item that was obtained thanks to a coupon code (like subscribers' coupons) that i want to melt, what will i get?
If you bought that item with a coupon code, the item melt value will reflect the coupon code rebate BUT if you melt it and want to buy it back after, you will have to pay full original price at the time of purchase, without rebate.

I have an item for which its price was reduced thanks to a promotion when sold, but i do not have the rebate anymore in my buyback, is it normal?
No it is not normal. If the item was offered with a discount on RSI pledge store, you can send a ticket to support to get it back at the discounted price if you want to buy it back, as stated in the official FAQ in such case.

I bought a warbond item but i can not buy it back with store credit, and have a buyback token, is that normal?
No, you need to contact support for that, you can buy it back with store credit.

Can I reclaim a gift?
Yes, and like any other items you will get in store credit what was ORIGINALLY spent for it by the gifter. The item will be in your buybacks for you to repurchase at a later date if need.
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Space Marshal
May 20, 2014
RSI Handle
very useful infos I wish I had known sooner
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Aug 9, 2022
RSI Handle
You can gift to a maximum of 1000$ total gifts melt value per day.
This has changed recently - gifted my mate a Explorer pack Carrack and it just transferred didn't need to contact support

Lotsof this is still quite valid and thanks for the good write up -look forward to the re-write
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Oct 27, 2022
RSI Handle
I really wish the actual value of my upgrades and packages reflected the current value of ships contained in them. My Orion was an upgrade from the Hawk, melt value $280, actual ship value $575. I have an upgraded Carrion Pack, , melt value $870, actual ships contained value $1340. If the current value actually reflected the current ship value I'd consider melting a few things and getting the Tycoon pack and upgrading a few things in it over time, the Starliner to to a Liberator for example. CIG would make another few hundred bucks over the next year and I could have my fleet better represent what I want to do. Ideally none of my fleet would be cheaper ships purchasable in game. As it stands I'm not willing to take the hit to change things up. I did submit a request and am fully expecting to be told to go and sexually abuse myself.


Oct 27, 2022
RSI Handle
It's like expecting CiG to give you free money ;) as you can resell after the credit if you melt your stuff.

About the guide for others, I'll update it before IAE.
I thought stuff bought with store credits was non-transferrable and who in their right mind is going to pay full price for ships when there is stuff on the grey market that's cheaper and gives you better options for personal tastes.


Oct 27, 2022
RSI Handle
Ah, I thought anything that was bought with store credits was tied to the account. I'm definitely getting told to abuse myself if they stop laughing long enough to respond. Tnx for the clarification.
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Grand Admiral
Mar 4, 2020
RSI Handle

Havent got time since February to upgrade this guide for this IAE.

But in short, regarding fixing the price of upgrades (CCUs) in buyback, this works ONLY for CCU dating from before 2020 (you'll know if it is such an old CCU, as when buying them back, it does not open the current upgrade system in the store, but add the CCU to your cart directly, after a buyback page for the CCU as an item like it shows also for ships and other items).

Since February 2022, CIG has altered in buyback the price of all CCUs bought after 2020 included (all CCU bought after the introduction of the new upgrade system). Any CCU in buyback from 2020 and after, INCLUDING warbond CCUs that had a discount, are now bought back at CURRENT CREDIT PRICE DIFFERENCE between the two ships in the RSI store.
This means :
- if you reclaim a CCU, and if their is a price jump of the FROM and/or TO ship, the price difference will adjust to current difference in RSI store. Invalidity still works the same, if FROM price >= TO price, CCU becomes invalid in buyback.
- if you reclaim a WARBOND CCU, you will loose the discount when buying it back, as it will now be offered at full price for buy-back.

Any CCUs dating from before the introduction of the new upgrade pledge store will still have their price fixed, for the FROM and the TO ships, both in Hangar AND Buy-back.
You can also STILL reclaim safely those old CCUs, and their old price will still be the same in your buyback (for now, tested again 4 days ago).

This means the only way to currently fix the price for all CCUs (credit/warbond) bought in 2020 and after, is to KEEP THEM IN HANGAR, if you want to bet on future price increase or ship release.

Also, since the writing of that guide, concierges get 2 buyback token per quarter, they still dont stack.

Melting a package will also not systematically guarantee that the price with promotion will be kept in buyback. Do melt at your own risks!
CIG has modified some packages since last February (Warbond or credit) in buyback, and you loose the rebate upon buyback. But this is completely INCONSISTENT as some packages sold for the same event do retain the rebate for some and not for others.
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